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Clementine Upside Down Cake

  • Author: Adriana
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1- 9" cake 1x
  • Category: Vegan Desserts
  • Method: Oven


The perfect way to show off satsuma mandarins or clementines- bake a clementine upside down cake! Even if it’s your 1st time baking an upside down cake this recipe is easy and approachable. This mandarin upside down cake recipe uses just 6 ingredients + mandarins and turns out beautifully!



Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, cold from fridge + 1 tablespoon for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons cane sugar + 2 tablespoons for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 cup milk or water
  • 1 flax egg (1.5 tablespoon flaxmeal, 3 tablespoons water)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)

Dry Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • .5 teaspoon salt

6-8 medium mandarins


  1. Grease a 9″ round cake tin with 1 tablespoon butter, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar evenly across the bottom of the pan. Preheat the oven to 350*
  2. Peel the 6-8 clemtines or mandarins. Place whole mandarins on their side with segments parallel to your cutting board and slice each whole clementine into 3 even sections.
  3. Arrange the sliced mandarins in your baking pan. We like to start at the center and work out, ensuring the entire surface of the pan in covered in mandarin pieces. After arranging full slices in your pan you can cut the remaining mandarin slices into smaller pieces in order to fill any gaps.
  4. With a stand or handheld mixer, cream the 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar for 4-6 minutes on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. When properly creamed, the mixture will be a pale white vs. yellow color and have a light & fluffy texture.
  5. Make the flax egg (1.5 tablespoon flaxmeal + 3 tablespoons water)
  6. In a separate bowl, combine and mix all dry ingredients together. ( 1.5 c flour, 1.5 teaspoon baking powder, .5 teaspoon salt)
  7. Add the flax egg to the creamed butter and sugar & mix. If using, add the vanilla extract.
  8. To properly mix the remaining ingredients we’ll alternate adding flour and milk to the batter. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk and mix. Add the rest of the flour, then the rest of the milk and mix until just combined.
  9. There may be some flour not fully incorporated, that’s ok. Use a spatula to finish gently mixing as we don’t want to overmix the batter. Pour batter into the cake pan over the mandarin pieces, careful to not disturb and move the clementines/mandarins.
  10. Use a spatula to even out the batter and tap the cake tin lightly on the counter several times to help even out the batter.
  11. Place in the middle rack and bake for 50-60 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean and the cake should have an even, golden appearance. 
  12. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes run a knife around the edges of the pan then place a plate or wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert the cake upside down. 
  13. The cake should fall out of it’s pan within 15-30 seconds of being upside down. If it doesn’t you can lightly tap the bottom (now top) of the pan to help it along.

Keywords: Mandarin upside down cake, citrus recipes